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Court Orders ASUU to Call Off On-going Strike

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Court Orders ASUU

The National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) has ordered the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call off its ongoing nationwide strike.

The Federal Government is in court, praying for the order for ASUU to call off its seven-month-old strike.

The Federal Government further asked the court to determine the extent of ASUU’s demands by the government since the 2020 Memorandum of Action (MOA) that the union signed with the government.

The demands include the funding for revitalization of public universities as per the 2009 agreement, Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) payments, state universities proliferation and constitution of visitation panels, and release of a white paper on the report of the visitation panels.

Others are the reconstitution of the government renegotiation team for renegotiation of 2009 agreements, which were renegotiated in 2013/2014, due for renegotiation in 2018/2019, and the migration of ASUU members from IPPIS to its own UTAS, which is currently on test at NITDA.

The Federal Government further requested an order of the court for ASUU members to resume work in their various universities while the issues in dispute are being addressed by the NICN in consonance with the provisions of Section 18 (I) (b) of the TDA Cap T8. LFN 2004.

ASUU has been on strike since February 14 over the failure of the Federal Government to meet the union’s demands.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, on behalf of the Federal Government, had filed the matter before the court by way of referral to resolve the issue of the ongoing strike by ASUU.

Counsel to FG, Mr. J.U.K Igwe (SAN) in his submission had informed the court that the application for the injunction was dated September 12 and filed on the same date.

He added that the application was brought in pursuant to the rules of the NICN 2017 proceeding.

Igwe further stated that it was predicated on 11 grounds, supported by a 21-paragraph affidavit deposed to Mr. Okechukwu Wampa, a Legal Adviser in the Ministry of Labour and Employment, attached with three exhibits and an undertaking as to damages deposed to by Wampa.

He also urged the court to grant the prayer sought and proceeded to adopt in its entirety and totality the written address, adding that the claimants had met all the requirements to enable the court to grant the injunction.

He cited that claimant’s action was not apprehensive and regarding damages, he said the lost time of seven months of the strike could not be regained.

He concluded by saying that going by the provision of section 18 (1) (e) of the Trade Disputes Act 2004, a worker should not embark on strike when a matter is already before the court and urged the court to grant the injunction.

Counsel to the defendant, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) stated that he had before the court a nine-paragraph counter-affidavit filed on September 16 deposed to by the president of ASUU

He further submitted that attached to the affidavit were eight exhibits accompanied by a written address and proceeded to adopt the same as their argument in opposition to the interlocutory injunction.

Falana in addition argued that the minister lacked the power to order the court in the referral to direct ASUU to call off its strike.

He averred further that once a referral was before a court, no party could go outside of it.


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